J.K. Rowling to Be Featured in Harry Potter Reunion Amid Controversy Over Trans Comments

After much speculation that author J.K. Rowling would not appear in the long-awaited Return to Hogwarts, it turns out the controversial writer has not been canceled from the Harry Potter reunion special after all.

That's after a newly released preview showsRowling, 56, featured in a scene where cast members recount how the British scribe and film producer has made an enduring impression on their lives.

Return to Hogwarts honors the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter move franchise. Set to air January 1 on HBO Max, the long-anticipated TV event features the film franchise's stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter, among others.

Fans initially raised concerns that Rowling was being booted from the Sky production when she hadn't appeared in the trailers promoting the upcoming televised event.

JK Rowling
Although she wasn't in the initial trailers for the "Return to Hogwarts" special, author J.K. Rowling does make an appearance in the TV special scheduled to air on January 1. Rowling accepts an award onstage during the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts 2019 Ripple Of Hope Gala & Auction In NYC on December 12, 2019 in New York City. Bennett Raglin/Getty

But as first reported by the British online publication The Independent, it turns out that in a new preview scene cast members reminisce about the impact that Rowling's books had on them. That's before Rowling then makes her own appearance.

"I think it's very easy to forget that at the time, people were talking about 'the death of reading,'" said actor Daniel Radcliffe in the preview. Radcliffe, of course played the main character of Harry Potter in the film series that collectively grossed over $7.73 billion worldwide.

Radcliffe's comments came as actor Robbie Coltrane, who played the character of Rubeus Hagrid noted, "One of the many reasons I admire J.K. so much is that millions now read books who would never have lifted a book up in their lives, and you suddenly realize the power of writing."

Added Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley during the new trailer, "So many people were falling in love with J.K. Rowling's writing."

Rowling appears and recalls what a challenge it was to find the right actor to cast as Harry Potter himself.

"We couldn't find Harry!" said Rowling, from a 2019-filmed segment. "We just couldn't find Harry, and it was getting kind of weird, and panicky."

She also expressed how "very emotional" it was when she and the filmmakers finally did find Radcliffe and realized he was perfect for the role.

The Harry Potter film series has become one of the most successful move franchises of all time.

The Hogwarts television reunion was initially announced last November, when news reports surrounding Rowling's previous controversial views on transgender issues were finally starting to die down.

In an essay published on her personal website in June 2020, Rowling shared some of her views on transgender issues.

She wrote: "When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he's a woman—and, as I've said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones—then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth."

It was just this month that Rowling expressed her opposition to proposed laws, in which police in Scotland have said that they will "record rapes by offenders with male genitalia as being committed by a woman if the attacker 'identifies as a female.'"

While Rowling has faced backlash for comments made about transgender women in the past, she has also received high profile support in the U.K. for her stance. That support led to the hashtag: #IStandWithJKRowling to previously trend on Twitter.

Rowling is also known for her philanthropic endeavors, one of which is her support for research and treatment of multiple sclerosis from which her mother suffered before her death in 1990.